31 Dec 2012

Christmas has been and gone and everyone’s gutted to be back at work soon, so what better time to remind you all of 2012’s overly rich and sickly Christmas adverts. My first viewing of a seemingly-feature-length Christmas ad from John Lewis (1) was enough for me. All the mushy, sentimental ‘festive goodwill’ smeared over what seemed like an age was too much.
And another thing: whilst getting to the shops at Christmas must have been a gargantuan effort for the snowman, he only bought a hat, scarf and gloves. Despite some solid acting to mask it, I’m sure his other half was infuriated. Will we see her returning to exchange the gifts in the sales this month?

Waitrose (2) and BBH did manage to steer clear of the Christmas drivel served up by most, but their effort wasn’t faultless. Whilst the charitable sentiment of customers deciding which local causes Waitrose’s ad budget went to couldn’t be quibbled with, the ad’s execution could.
They neglected a fancy, frilly effort to instead give money to charity, which even Scrooge can appreciate. But what about the outlay for the ad space? And the studio? Credit where credit’s due, though. They didn’t spend on the actors. They can’t have done based on those performances.

Next up was Barclaycard (3)What was this ad all about then? Toys… or so it seemed until you got to the closing stages. What BBH cleverly did was present an extravagant, Toy Story-esque ad, but use it to show the contrast between finding the right gift (tricky) and paying for it (easy).
Hang on. Scrooge is being a bit positive here isn’t he? Fret not. The saturation of toys just reminded me of kids and presents, so naturally this ad was a write-off.

An interesting idea ran through the eBay (4). festive ad by Venables Bell & Partners: Dad bought the wrong present with calamitous consequences.
Now, other Christmas ads drew criticism because they suggested the stereotype that Mum does all the work at that time of year. But this ad implied that when Dad tries to take over, the house comes crumbling down (almost literally in this case). That’s not fair either is it?
But you’re Scrooge, you don’t care about fair.’ You may be right, but damn it, I feel compelled to stand up for the Dads who correctly buy their daughters toy ponies instead of the more-expensive real ones.

Finally, we come to Go Compare (5)This ad got past the first hurdle with consummate ease; there were no saccharine, Christmassy overtones that slapped me in the face. Unfortunately, it failed at the second with the inclusion of another of the world’s most annoying characters, Louie Spence, alongside Gio Compario.
Those two were enough to ruin anyone’s Christmas… and when I think about it, I am actually eternally grateful for that. Thank you Go Compare and DARE for giving me the perfect note to end on.


30 Dec 2012

Me and my copywriter Leon have wrote our very own Christmas edition of 'Private View' as Campaign does every week. Enjoy our themed (not as Henry and Leon) but as 'The Ghost of Christmas Present (even though it’s passed)' and 'Scrooge'.

The Ghost of Christmas Present (even though it’s passed)
Ho, ho, holy cow, that was a great Christmas for many reasons, but mainly for the advertising. Those big companies just couldn't wait till the big day to give me their presents for delivery… fortunately so in my case. It never hurts to be organised.
Here’s a selection that sparkled onto your screens over the festive period. We'll start with the one we were all waiting to see after 2011’s cracker. John Lewis (1). This ad was beautifully crafted by adam&eveDDB and they delivered a real gem yet again with a love story between a snowman and snowwoman, creating a lovely sentimental value. Five words from me: John Lewis, do it again.

My second present was from Waitrose (2) who delivered a campaign that set them apart from the rest. They donated their budget (thought to be £1 million) to a selection of charities through their ongoing green token scheme. It's admirable that they gave the money away to a good cause. Well done Waitrose.

The next one pleasantly surprised me (I had a sneaky peek before I delivered it). I was under the impression this ad was for a toy company after the first fifteen seconds, but it turned out it was actually an ad for Barclaycard (3).
A man gets taken around a 'Toy Story' style room underneath a toy store. He’s the same size as all the toys that are surrounding him, wanting to be picked by him to be one of his Christmas presents. It was playful with some nice humour in the dialogue. I loved it – one of my favourites over Christmas. And it didn’t get tedious, either; in fact, every time I saw it, I spotted something else happening. If you didn’t catch it, go and watch it now. It's a must-see.

I also managed to fly across the pond to the US and deliver a present from eBay (4). A child gets a surprise because her parents have bought her a pony – the gift every little girl dreams of – with comical consequences. There was a very simple product demonstration here too. It was refreshing to see a Christmas ad that approached the task slightly differently. Five Christmas tree golden stars from me.

I then returned to the UK to offload the last present from Go Compare (5), who carried on regardless with the 'Saving The Nation' campaign that DARE started, showing Gio Compario on the receiving end in a variety of situations.
It was far better than the campaign’s previous efforts and it went against the conventional Christmas ad. Let’s hope they continue their good form this year.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get ready for Super Bowl XLVII where I’ll see what 2013’s big bucks agencies have to offer. You might spot me sitting pitchside (I won’t be wearing the red suit, mind).

Keep an eye out for Scrooge's opinion tomorrow.


16 Dec 2012

Yesterday at Palmer Hargreaves we participated in Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day. It was great fun, and it was nice to see so many of us taking part for such a good cause. Here's a group shot of us all, I was modelling a very itchey penguin jumper. See if you can spot me.

If you participated, it would be great if you shared your Christmas jumpers in my comment section below.


6 Dec 2012

I've been updating my Art Direction page (Cargo Collective) and I've added a film I did for Ford Accident Management earlier this year at Palmer Hargreaves with Paul Griffin (Director) and Ian Winstanley (Director of Photography). Ford Accident Management is a service that provides hassle free solutions to their customers who have had an accident, this film was to increase awareness about this service Ford provided. 

I blogged about the behind the scenes of the shoot a few months ago, revisit it here

Here's the film for you to watch:

Ford Accident repair from Griffin Productions on Vimeo.

If you watch till the end you might spot me too.